Rural Life in Danger

Rise in Suicides among Farmers

Sudhakar reported on a story that epitomized the insurmountable troubles facing farmers today. A farmer, burdened by debt, killed himself. His son too took his own life after multiple visits to the tahsildhar’s office, pleading for compensation, yielded no result. This event occured even after the state put in place a life insurance scheme for the farmers in 2018-19. Sudhakar reported in detail the limitations of the scheme that kept tenant farmers from its benefits.

The saga of farmer suicides is as long as it is distressing. Sudhakar quoted farmer organizations such as Rythu Swarajya Vedika (RSV) who said 75% of farmer suicides are among tenant farmers who face high cultivation costs but are not eligible for government aid. This was one of the biggest revelations from Sudhakar’s investigations that showed that the state government schemes rolled out from the poorest of the poor are not reaching them. Rythu Bandhu among them was one such scheme that was only benefitting landowners, including NRSs, but not the tenant farmers.

Sudhakar collected data from various sources such as NCRB which showed that 2,224 farmers killed themselves from 2015-2018. The more districts of Telangana Sudhakar toured the more stories began to surface about the struggles of farmers. The biggest obstacles for them came from government aid not reaching them, exploitation by money lenders, and yield getting affected due to spurious seeds, among others.

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